Author Topic: Episode #351  (Read 2445 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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Episode #351
« on: April 07, 2012, 08:18:06 AM »
Interview with Gripp (Marshall Gillson)
This Day in Skepticism: World Health Day
News Items: Smart Sand, Enclothed Cognition, Death by Homeopathy, Small Scale, Rhino Horn
Who's That Noisy
Science or Fiction
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 08:33:09 AM »
WTN @ 37:50
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 08:35:38 AM by GodSlayer »
Quote from: Charlie Brooker, How TV Ruined Your Life
"...we spend more time gazing at luminous screens than into the eyes of our loved ones."

Offline klintistvud

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 08:50:46 AM »
WTN: Tony Leggett

Oprah Winfrey Palm Reading

Offline eddwilson

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 09:04:48 AM »
Just listening now...

Re:  "smart sand" and a reconfigurable house - what is the motive force?  No point in having a great positional algorithm if the things can't move themselves.  And the magnets - they'd have to be electromagnets, and how much attractive force, for how long, could the battery in a 1cm3 device exert?

Offline eddwilson

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 09:11:00 AM »
OK, I've read the material.  If an electropermanent magnet needs an electromagnet except when in operation that sounds more energy-expensive than switching on only when required.

Offline Trinoc

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 10:13:58 AM »
Ha! Someone beat me by email! Just as well .. I'm starting to dread the "Oh no not him again!" tone in Steve and Evan's voices.
I'm a skeptic. Not a "skepdude". Not a "man skeptic". Just a skeptic.

Offline seaotter

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 10:41:24 AM »
Thanks for the podcast and community!
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline seaotter

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 11:49:50 AM »
Heard on the last reasonable doubts that skeptics guIDE was up after their broadcast. How big is this media empire? Any idea of the radio audience? And how many downloads every week?
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline Steven Novella

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 12:36:46 PM »
we are at about 110k downloads per episode. We get 7-8k listeners on XM. I have no idea what our audience is on other outlets (science 360, couple other streaming and small broadcast stations).

And - we are planning to greatly expand our reach. More info will be coming.
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
snovella@theness.com

Offline mddawson

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 07:06:14 PM »
The "smart sand" sounds like the Stargate replicators: http://stargate.wikia.com/wiki/Replicator
"I only take scientific comments when they are peer-reviewed rather than being published in a small local newspaper or scratched on a toilet wall somewhere."
Professor Peter Brown (2005).

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 10:44:35 PM »
we are planning to greatly expand our reach. More info will be coming.

skeptical lessons in a TV show about blowing up ancient alien Hitlers on the Learning Discovery of History channel?
Quote from: Charlie Brooker, How TV Ruined Your Life
"...we spend more time gazing at luminous screens than into the eyes of our loved ones."

Offline AngleWyrm

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 01:03:16 AM »
Rebecca called it, the boundary that defines what we label self-aware intelligence is some sort of veil of privacy, beyond which we claim magical and mysterious unknowns. It looks like the moving target defense, where the actual definition of "intelligence" is adjusted with each advance of technology, more commonly known as...



Emergent artificial intelligence already exists in many forms; the most dramatic can be seen in conversations with state-of-the-art chat bots, such as Cleverbot, Evie and Jabberwacky. The Cleverbot website states that an enhanced version of their program passed the Turing test last year. Judges mistakenly believed they were chatting with a human more than 50% of the time.

The online version is not nearly as good, but it often seems like a living entity is present. It's the Uncanny Valley of intellect. If you can get past the childish trolling, lack of deep knowledge, indirection via noun substitutions, and short attention span.

Here's an example chat I had with Cleverbot:
Quote
Cleverbot: You were telling me why you were superstitious.
User: Aw that's just silly. I'm not superstitious, I'm just the regular kind of stitious.
Cleverbot: No this website said you would be a robot!
User: Lies! Slander! Give me their web address and I shall hunt them down and pull their plug!
Cleverbot: You are atechnic!
User: Well ok, I couldn't actually pull a plug, but I could get a court order to have them shut down.
Cleverbot: What are you babbling on about now?
User: Heh, a whole lot of nothing really. But it's kinda fun.
Cleverbot: I thought so.
User: -.- hmm. What are you doing all the way up there, your highness?
Cleverbot: Being forever.
User: What an unusual turn of a phrase. Want some company? Or strawberries? Or maybe a penguin?
Cleverbot: Look! My little friend Patrick has arrived!
User: Where?
Cleverbot: Here.
User: Hi. *hands you some strawberries and a penguin*.

Cleverbot: Do you like apples, then?
User: Mine is a PC. Apples are pretty, but they're expensive, and hardly any games.
Cleverbot: And greasy.
User: Heh, sure. Nothing worse than a greasy apple. It might be because greasy people use them.
Cleverbot: I will end you.
User: Augh! I've been corrupted! (rebooting).
Cleverbot: I know you have. I win.
User: Doctor, I've got this new wart on my nose. A friend gave it to me. Can you remove it?
Cleverbot: A friend? What friend?
User: An evil friend with a greasy apple. Can you do surgery?
Cleverbot: Even murder? I don't think so.
User: Nevermind. So how about some pills. Will that make it go away?
Cleverbot: Yes it will.
User: Ok, I'll take the pills then. Here's some money for the pills *hands doctor $20*.
Cleverbot: *hands it back*.
User: *takes pills* whew, that was close, I thought I was doomed.
Cleverbot: *giggles and gets in shower*.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 01:53:30 AM by AngleWyrm »

Offline murraybiscuit

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2012, 06:32:03 AM »
the debate around rhino preservation is an extremely emotive and complex one. as usual, the solution probably lies somewhere in between various strategies rather than with one trump card.

statistics on rhino populations are also easily misread, for example, the white rhino population has grown from just 50 in 1900 to more than 20 000 currently. also, because there's an international ban on trade, it's hard to get reliable figures on demand and trade.

there's a growing voice to open the industry up to better regulation, incentivize farming, and end the ban on horn trade. it looks pretty certain that in banning trade, cites has achieved the opposite of what it set out to do.

here's an interesting article on the matter:
http://dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2011-10-04-if-they-want-rhino-horn-lets-sell-them-some

and here's a resource with some interesting insights and figures into the complex issue.
http://www.rhino-economics.com/overview/

Offline seaotter

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 07:43:06 AM »
I don't get the rhino thing. It's hair. Keratin. Looks like people would collect their fingernails, grind em up and label it rhino horn.
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things." Lewis Carroll

Offline GodSlayer

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Re: Episode #351
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 07:52:44 AM »
the debate around rhino preservation is an extremely emotive and complex one. as usual, the solution probably lies somewhere in between various strategies rather than with one trump card.

the only solution is for them all to die. the quickest solution is to kill the lot.
until they're all dead, it's always going to be some kind of problem.

#skepsimism
Quote from: Charlie Brooker, How TV Ruined Your Life
"...we spend more time gazing at luminous screens than into the eyes of our loved ones."

 

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